Photo by John L. Alexander
FRANCE - American Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., was promoted to the rank of Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor by decree of French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday July 19th in Paris France.
"The dignity and weight of this very special honor are fully recognized by me, and I appreciate and am truly grateful to be honored by such a prestigious recognition by the great and beloved nation of France," Rev. Jackson said.
Baptist minister Rev. Jackson, 79, who once worked with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the cause of equal rights for African Americans in the 1960s, was awarded at a ceremony in the Elysee Palace.
"Jesse Jackson never stopped campaigning for peace, justice and fraternity. He is also committed to education and climate," President Macron's office said. "The values promoted by Reverend Jackson are universal and are those of the Republic." President Macron noted that Rev. Jackson had inspired several generations of activists and public leaders on several continents with his message rejecting "all forms of racism and exclusion."
After running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, Rev. Jackson was appointed by President Bill Clinton as his envoy to Africa.
Rev. Jackson announced in 2017 that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease. But the illness doesn't prevent him from being politically active: three weeks ago, Rev. Jackson, Founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition, and social justice activist Rev. William Barber II were briefly arrested during a Poor People's Campaign demonstration in Washington, demanding better voter's rights.
Complying with airport COVID safety regulations, Bishop Tavis Grant and other supporters of Rev. Jackson stood masked and ready with Welcome signs awaiting his return. The Paris ceremony was carried by news media from around the world, leaving no doubt of Rev. Jackson's legacy as a globally acknowledged and respected leader in the cause of human rights. Photo by John L. Alexander.
Rev. Jackson entered O’Hare Airport to the sounds of cheering from the crowd and the playing of his theme song “I Am Somebody” as enthusiastic well wishers waved signs welcoming him back home from Paris, France. Pausing a moment to speak to members of the media, Rev. Jackson stated that the people of France are concerned about the condition of African Americans and others in the U.S. who are struggling against racial injustice. They are also concerned about environmental issues.
Among the welcoming crowd were two citizens from Guinea, West Africa. Guinea was at one time a French colony, so the citizens there speak French. These two men recall how Rev. Jackson stood by their country in times of turmoil, calling him a “champion” for freedom. Rev. Jackson has been a symbol of triumph for the liberation struggles of people around the world. His speeches are often studied and memorized by school children.
Skokie, IL - Members of various faith communities met Sat, Jan. 25, 2020 for the monthly World Alliance of Religions for Peace interfaith dialogue sponsored by HWPL North America, Chicago. Since COVID restrictions, dialogues are held virtually online. HWPL recently addressed the crisis in Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia, where, after a military coup, peaceful protesters were killed.
We, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), express deep concern over the situation in Myanmar, which has caused casualties and posed grave threats to human rights.The recent efforts of the Myanmar military to suppress nonviolent protests have led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries. The number is still continuing to increase.Human life must not be disregarded in any circumstances. No conflict of interest can justify violence against civilians, and no interest of any group can prevail over human lifeUsing violence to suppress peaceful protests and silence voices for change is contrary to the will of the people of Myanmar. Authorities should respect people's human rights and freedom of expression. We call on all relevant parties in Myanmar to express regret at the ongoing situation and engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful resolution. We are confident that the international community will support this effort, which will contribute to security and peace not only in Southeast Asia but also in other parts of the world.We, HWPL, along with our members all over the globe are deeply concerned about the harm caused to civilians by the escalating violence in Myanmar. International attention is focused on Myanmar, and history will remember these moments. The situation should be resolved in a just and peaceful way also for the sake of the growing generation, who will learn from this crisis to build their future. We call on all parties to refrain from repression or force and instead settle the crisis through dialogue and consensus based on mutual respect and understanding. And we call on the United Nations to take active measures so that the human rights and safety of the people of Myanmar may be protected.
We ask the global family of peace to issue statements urging authorities and civilians in Myanmar to pursue dialogue and seek a peaceful solution in order to restore peace to the country.
In one voice, HWPL and all our members around the world express hope that the ongoing crisis in Myanmar will be resolved peacefully through dialogue, not violence, and we call on the international community to join us.
After nearly 10 months, WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from prison in Russia on Thursday, December 8, 2022 and boarded a U.S. government plane that took her back to American soil. The two time U.S. Olympic basketball gold medalist was charged with carrying drugs after a vape with hashish oil was discovered in her suitcase. She faced up to 10 years in prison.
In return for Ms. Griner's freedom from a penal colony, the U.S.released former arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was serving a 25-year sentence in Illinois following a conspiracy conviction.
The U.S. was unable to secure the release of former Marine Paul Whelan, who has been in Russian captivity for nearly four years on espionage charges that the White House says are false. The White House confirmed that efforts to secure his release are continuing, even though he could not be included in the prisoner swap deal at this time.
“I have been in prison for 10 months now, listening to Russian. I want to talk,” Ms. Griner said, on the plane on her way home, according to Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who helped secure the basketball star’s release and bring her back to the U.S. He noted that she went around to each member of the crew on the plane to get their names and shake their hands.
Despite her Russian prison ordeal, Ms. Griner, who plays Center on the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team, is reportedly in good spirits. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday, "She's in San Antonio at the Brooke Army Medical Center getting appropriate mental health care as well as physical health care, just to make sure that she's ready for her reintegration back into American society." Photo by John L. Alexander